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Dentistry is Really About Total Body Health, Not Just Teeth

Dental health is not only about pretty pearly whites. While the focus in our practice is on tooth, jaw, and mouth, at Westover Family Dentistry we also know that dental care is important for total body wellness.

Chewing, speech, and self-confidence all start with a healthy set of teeth. Like a fountain, the health of your teeth can trickle down to affect the rest of your body functions like digestion, breathing, and even their little hearts.

Regular dental checkups are essential to a healthy lifestyle because at Westover Family Dentistry we know how to spot problems early on and treat them quickly to prevent more serious complications down the road. Read on for some ways that dental care can affect the rest of your child’s body and maintain their overall health.

Reduce the Risk of Infections

Proper mouth care and reducing plaque on your teeth can mean fewer bodily infections. Our mouths can harbor some really seedy stuff like bacteria, yeasts and viruses that hang around our teeth. Without proper dental care like regular brushing and flossing, your gums can become inflamed and bleed, offering germs an open route to enter your body to cause a host of other problems like heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and even pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses. Taking care of your gums may feel unnecessary but your gums need the same level of care as your teeth.

Chewing and Digestion

“Chew your food!” Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not being an overprotective parent. Eating a healthy diet is a great first step to ensuring your health and what you eat needs to be properly broken down. Healthy teeth and good chewing habits contribute to good digestion and help the body absorb the nutrients in your food better. Proper chewing also prevents bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.

Memory Function and Alzheimer’s

Believe it or not, gingivitis has been linked to a person’s level of cognitive function. Yes, studies have shown that gingivitis AKA gum disease – inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness of your gums – can affect how adults perform on memory and cognitive skill tests. A recent study demonstrated a link between the bacteria that causes gum disease with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Just another reason why starting healthy habits, like flossing, early will help keep you and your family healthy.

Tongue Tie Solutions

Ankyloglossia or tongue-tie is when your tongue movement is restricted by a little band of tissue at the tip of the tongue attached to the base of the mouth. This can affect breastfeeding for infants and speech later on in life. If left untreated, older children and adults can find it difficult to clear bits of food from teeth, contributing to tooth decay and gum disease. Dr. Westover is experienced with resolving tongue tie issues through a laser procedure (frenectomy) done in-office. It’s a simple procedure and can make a huge difference with your child’s health and self-confidence. In more good news, the laser frenectomy procedure doesn’t need sutures, a scalpel, and sometimes not even a needle. And if you’re a stressed new mama reading this, please come see us – we can help!

At Westover Family Dentistry, we strongly believe in total body health and it starts with healthy habits contributing to a healthy and happy smile. We are a caring and friendly office with a great reputation (just read our reviews!) in the area. If you care about your child’s overall health like we do, we hope you’ll bring your little one in for a visit. Whether they’ve just sprouted their first tooth or they have some wiggly ones, we look forward to meeting your child.

Click here to schedule an appointment today!

Consultation Westover Family Dentistry Winchester VA

Westover Family Dentistry Welcomes Dr. Bryant Ash

To our valued patients:

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Bryant Ash has joined the Westover Family Dentistry team! Dr. Ash is a warm, engaging, and highly skilled dentist who is a truly wonderful fit for our practice.

As you can imagine, we take great care when inviting a new team member to join us. We have a longstanding reputation of providing the highest quality dental treatment to the greater Winchester community, and draw deep satisfaction from the personal relationships we have with our patients. These are values that Dr. Ash maintains as well, along with his dedication to providing a positive experience to each of his patients throughout their treatment. 

In speaking with his team, they expressed some wonderful sentiments about him, including that he is great at explaining treatment to patients, he is excellent with children, and he focuses on continuing personal and professional improvement. All of these are qualities that we value ourselves.

Dr. Ash graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry as a recipient of two distinguished scholarships after graduating from Brigham Young University. He is a member of the Virginia Dental Association, the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He underwent extra training in the applications of 3D printing technology in dentistry, including virtual implant treatment planning and placement. He’s trained in oral sedation and Advanced Care Life Support/CPR as well.

With Dr. Ash joining our team we will increase appointment availability and benefit from additional perspectives as we develop our patients’ treatment plans. We are confident that Dr. Ash will bring new ideas, energy and insight, which will be appreciated by everyone who meets him. We look forward to introducing him to you! 

Kind regards,

Dr. Austin Westover and Dr. Mitra Westover

 

ZOOM your way to a Brighter Whiter Smile For the Holidays at Westover Family Dentistry


 
A recent survey showed that 80% of Americans aged 18-49 wish they had whiter teeth and that 6 out of 10 people believe that having whiter teeth would make them more confident.  That is just one of the reasons why we are so excited to offer in-office whitening as a way for our patients to achieve a brighter, whiter smile… up to 8 shades whiter in just one visit!
This advanced whitening treatment is perfect for those who need a quick whitening fix! Whether it’s in time for your holiday party, photo-shoot, a family wedding or school reunion. 
 
HOW DOES IT WORK? SCIENCE
Using our advanced, in-office whitening technology, we apply both a whitening gel and specially designed light to your teeth. The blue LED lamp works to activate the gel, breaking down the hydrogen peroxide so that the oxygen can enter your enamel and dentin. This bleaches any stains while leaving the structure of your tooth unchanged and undamaged! 
 
DO I COME TO THE OFFICE OR IS IT AN AT-HOME KIT?
Both! Your professional whitening session happens in our office, with a dentist. This session combines the power of our LED light with a high concentration, professional strength whitening gel that can only be applied by a dental professional. 
Then, we send you home with a maintenance kit, complete with custom bleaching trays and bleach material, to ensure a long lasting, bright smile. 
 
HOW LONG WILL MY APPOINTMENT TAKE? 
We recommend a dental cleaning prior to beginning treatment in order to achieve the best results. Once the cleaning is complete, your whitening session should take about an hour! In fact, our products are  clinically proven to whiten your teeth up to 8 shades in just 45 minutes! 
At Westover Family Dentistry, we’re always up-to-date on the latest advances in research and the newest technologies to be sure we can accommodate each of our patients’ unique needs. 
 
Click below to schedule your ZOOM appointment today and smile brighter this holiday season! 

7 Important Reasons to Have Regular Dental Cleanings


At Westover Family Dentistry, we’re often asked why we think it is so important for our patients to come in for regular dental cleanings. Poor oral hygiene has been proven to lead to several dental and medical problems. Below, we’ve put together  7 important reasons to have regular cleanings at your dentist:

  1. Several recent studies have linked gum disease with heart disease. Having a dental cleaning every 6 months unquestionably reduces strokes and heart disease.
  2. Keep your teeth clean, and you will KEEP your teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of adults losing their teeth. Brushing and flossing do help, but a good dental cleaning is essential.
  3. The hygienist is a key dental person to keep an eye on your dental health. In addition to doing good cleanings, she can spot tooth problems (broken fillings, cavities) before they become bigger problems.
  4. Dental cleanings are usually completely covered by insurance. So, if you have insurance, take advantage of the benefits you deserve and are paying for.
  5. Having a brighter, clean smile has been shown to help us both socially, and in business. Looking to get that good job? Expect to be around people? Having cleaner teeth with fresh breath is a big plus.
  6. Regular cleanings prevent bad breath. Persistent bad breath has often been linked to poor oral hygiene. Regular cleanings will remove tartar, plaque, and stains that cause many of the bad odors associated with “halitosis”.
  7. Last but not least. We all need to be aware that oral cancer exists all too often. The American Dental Association says that one person in the U.S. loses their life every hour to oral cancer. The well trained hygienist and the dentist are trained to spot oral lesions at their early stages. So, you may come in for “just a cleaning,” but it could save your life.

The main goal of Westover Family Dentistry is to keep the mouth clean and healthy in order to prevent serious dental problems. To achieve this goal, we recommend that patients schedule dental exams a minimum of once every six months. At these appointments, we can monitor oral health, provide soft-tissue management, and recommend any necessary cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry treatments.
For more information on preventative dentistry treatment, click here or click below to schedule an appointment today. 

Signs That a Child is Suffering From Sleep Apnea


 
Does your child have any of the following symptoms?

  • Hyperactivity or inattention (many children who are diagnosed with ADHD are actually not hyperactive but rather are showing the clinical symptoms of OSA).
  • Crowded teeth
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping (tossing and turning or night sweats)
  • Loud breathing during sleep
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
  • Extreme drowsiness / hyperactivity throughout the day
  • Changes in mood, misbehaviour or decline in school performance

They could have Sleep Disordered Breathing or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – a chronic condition where breathing is limited or stops periodically during sleep because soft tissue is relaxing and obstructing the airway. These periodic stops can happen as many as 20-30 times in an hour and cause a lack of oxygen to the brain, waking up your child so that they restart proper breathing. All that waking up can leave one pretty sleepy the next day – even if they don’t remember waking up!
Untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can affect school work and overall alertness as well as raise your child’s risk of serious health problems down the road. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Obesity
  • and even Depression

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (ENTs) sleep disordered breathing affects approximately 12 percent of children.
Luckily, sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing is treatable. It just needs to be diagnosed. That’s where you come in: if your child has any of the above-listed symptoms, bring them to see us for a free consultation at Westover Family Dentistry.
Dentists are leading specialists in spotting Sleep Apnea / Sleep Disordered Breathing early because of our familiarity and expertise in working with the soft tissue in children’s mouths. Dr. Austin Westover makes a point of asking all parents if they’ve noticed any of these symptoms when they first consult with new patients.
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, bring them in for a free consultation. We can help with a treatment plan and make sure your kids are sleeping soundly!
While Sleep Apnea can have very serious side effects, it is treatable. The most important thing you can do is pay attention and have your child evaluated at Westover Family Dentistry.